Cinnaminson, NJ, March 20th, 2015
Many Americans have experienced situations where they have not felt well after spending time in a building where they may live, work, attend school or have to visit for any number of reasons. As defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the term sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout a building.
In 1984, a World Health Organization (WHO) Committee report suggested that up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality (IAQ). Often this condition may be temporary, but some buildings have long-term issues. These problems may result when a building is operated or maintained in a manner that is inconsistent with its original design or prescribed operating procedures. Sometimes the IAQ problems are the result of poor building design or occupant activities.
“Indicators of SBS may include building occupants complaining of symptoms associated with acute discomfort,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “These may include headaches; eye, nose or throat irritation; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and even sensitivity to odors. Most people suffering from the condition report relief soon after exiting the building. Quite frequently, the cause is eventually linked with such issues as inadequate ventilation, biological contaminants and chemical pollutants. These may act alone or in conjunction with each other and may be supplemented by other issues such as lighting, humidity and even temperature.”
To help identify and resolve cases of SBS, the scientists at EMSL offer a wide array of material, microbial and chemical testing services. EMSL’s Products Division also supplies a comprehensive assortment of inspection tools and sampling equipment that range from infrared cameras and particle counters to gas detection instrumentation and all of the necessary equipment for SBS investigations. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about sick building syndrome that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/AOMC2ois8VU.
To learn more about SBS and IAQ testing services or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services and products to government agencies, industry professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.